MDC representative, Mason Hurley, presents Rock Port Fire Chief, Scott Jones with part of the $1,900 that rural fire departments have been awarded by the Missouri department of Conservation.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has awarded $338,490 to rural fire departments in Missouri as part of the annual Volunteer Fire Assistance Matching Grant Program. Grant checks will be distributed through July and August to 156 fire departments to reimburse the purchase of personal protective gear and firefighting equipment.
“The fire departments receive up to $4,000 in grant funds to reimburse equipment costs specifically related to wildfire suppression,” said MDC Forest Field Programs Supervisor Ben Webster. “To receive the grant funds, fire departments must match every dollar they’re granted.”
“These grants mean increased safety for the firefighters and better protection in forested areas of the state,” said Webster.
Grant funds are used on everything from radios and other communication equipment to chainsaws, hoses, and hand tools. While fire departments can also apply for equipment to fight structure fires, preference is given to those who need wildfire equipment.
Over the last 30 years, MDC has distributed more than $7.5 million to rural fire departments to help them increase the safety of their firefighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment. Funding for the program is provided by MDC and the US Forest Service Volunteer Fire Assistance Program.